The Optical Networking and Communication
Conference & Exhibition

San Diego Convention Center,
San Diego, California, USA

Panel IV: High Capacity, Long Distance Transport: Innovation vs. Reality

Wednesday, 14 March
15:30 - 17:00
Theater I

TJ Xia, DMTS, Verizon Communications, USA
Ting Wang, NEC Laboratories America, Inc., USA

Panel Description:

New technologies for increasing transmission capacity and distance, such as high baud rate modulation formats, pulse shaping methods, impairment mitigation techniques, novel fiber designs, and spatial multiplexing schemes, continue to emerge, and hero experiments with record capacity and/or distance continue to be published. However, the current long haul, ultra-long haul, and transoceanic transportation seems to still rely on older, more conventional technologies. Will the new innovations be ready to be adopted to meet the growing capacity and flexibility demand? When will that be?
This panel will discuss the view, current progress, and future plan for the application of new transmission and switching technologies at long distance optical transport network. The discussion will come from both technology and business perspectives by major component vendors, equipment manufacturers, and operators.
This panel will focus on long-haul & subsea (SLTE) technology, roadmap. Questions to be addressed in the panel include:

  • Are the new technologies presented in the recent high capacity, long distance transport hero experiments realistic for actual implementation in the field?
  • What are the bottlenecks that prevent the fast adoption of the new transport technologies? Is it mainly technical-related or business-related?
  • What will help drive down the cost for implementing the emerging transmission and switching technologies? Electronic? Silicon photonic? Software-defined network management? Or something else?
  • Will open innovation and white box strategy help to speed up the commercialization of new transport technologies?
  • Are there any practical benefits of using multi-mode and multi-core-based SDM technologies in long distance transmission, compared to just using multi-fiber bundle?
  • What should be the direction for useful optical transport research and development?


Yoshihisa Inada, NEC, USA
Mike Rieger, Vice President of Sales, TE SubCom, USA
Kim Roberts, Senior Director of Optical Signal Processing, Ciena, Canada
Tim Stuch, Global Optical Architecture, Facebook
Glenn Wellbrock, Director, Verizon, USA


Yoshihisa Inada, Senior Manager, Submarine Network Division, NEC, USA

Mr. Yoshihisa Inada is Senior Manager at Submarine Network Division, NEC Corporation, where he has contributed to the research and development of submarine cable transmission systems for 20 years. He is currently the head of the transmission equipment group at NEC’s submarine network division. His team develops submarine transponders, open cable interface and wet plant monitoring equipment.
He received his B.E. and M.E. degrees in Communication engineering from Osaka University in 1996 and 1998, respectively, since then working for NEC Corporation.

Michael RiegerMike Rieger, Vice President of Sales, TE SubCom, USA

Mr. Michael Rieger is Vice President of Sales and Business Development at TE SubCom. He has been with TE since early 2000. In his current position Mr. Rieger manages all Sales activities on a global basis. Prior roles at TE SubCom include VP Sales for the TGN global network and Managing Director of Technology for TGN Operation Systems.  

Prior to his current assignment, Mr. Rieger held the position of Solutions Executive at IBM where he was responsible for strategy, sales and engineering of Network Management solutions in the Telecommunications and Media Business Unit. Mr. Rieger has also held the positions of Senior Software Engineer for Bell Communications Research and Systems Analyst for Merrill Lynch Capital Markets.   

Mr. Rieger has a Bachelors degree in Computer Science from Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey USA.

Kim RobertsKim Roberts, Senior Director of Optical Signal Processing, Ciena, Canada

Kim Roberts is a passionate evangelist of new optical and high-capacity packet technologies and holds the distinction of being Ciena Corporation’s (previously Nortel’s) leading inventor. Kim holds more than 150 patents with many more pending.  Kim has been a major force in the field of digital signal processing (DSP) for optical transmission systems, and played a key role in virtually every optical innovation developed by Nortel. These range from the Superdecoder (the use of electronic signal processing of optical signals), the OC-48 regenerator, and the original OC-192 (10-Gbit/s) system, to terrestrial optical amplifiers and the revolutionary eDCO precompensating transmitter. Building on these breakthroughs, Kim helped develop the DSP-assisted coherent transceivers that are at the heart of the world’s first coherent 40, 100 and 200 Gb/s optical systems. Today Kim is Vice President at Ciena, leading an R&D team focused on pushing the optical boundaries even further in terms of speed, distance and cost with the WaveLogic Ai transceiver at 400  and 600 Gb/s.
In recognition of the pioneering role he has played in the industry, Kim was named a Nortel Fellow and he
received the Outstanding Engineer medal in 2008 from IEEE Canada.  

Tim Stuch, Global Optical Architecture, Facebook

Tim Stuch is a Global Optical Architect for Facebook where he works on Subsea engagements from contract through to operations. Currently he is working on pushing the envelope forward in the subsea space to help connect people together at Facebook.  Working on subsea for the last ten years, Tim has been designing and deploying IP and transport networks for 20 years with companies like Bay Networks, Nortel, Ciena, and Microsoft. Tim received his B.S. Physics from Guilford College and his Physics Ph.D. from the University of Denver.

Ting Wang, NEC Laboratories America, Inc., USA
Bio available soon.

Glenn Wellbrock, Director, Verizon, USA

Glenn Wellbrock is the director of optical transport network architecture, design and planning at Verizon, where he is responsible for the development and deployment of new technologies for both the metro and long haul transport infrastructure.

Prior to this position, Wellbrock ran the advanced technology lab, established evaluation criteria and set engineering guidelines for all backbone transport equipment as well as various positions within network operations.  

In addition to his more than 20 years at Verizon (1984-2001 and 2004-present), Wellbrock was responsible for product architecture within the U.S. optical networks group at Marconi and product planning at Qplus Networks with a specific focus on developing alternative modulation techniques.

TJ XiaTJ Xia, DMTS, Verizon Communications, USA

TJ Xia is an expert of optical communications at Verizon and an Adjunct Professor at Miami University in Ohio. He earned a PhD degree in physics from CREOL, the University of Central Florida. He has published numerous technical papers, three book chapters, and holds more than 80 U.S. patents. He is an OSA Fellow and has been featured as “Verizon Innovator” on YouTube. He is actively promoting innovation in local communities and professional groups. In 2017, he published his book, How to Inspire Outstanding Ideas, for making anyone’s thinking more productive.

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